Kathryn's Blog

Match.com is starting to screen for sex offenders

Looks like Match.com is jumping in on screening sign ups on the site.  True.com started that a few years ago and has been behind pushing for screening on dating sites (or posting prominently that the site does not).  True.com’s “movement” was pretty clearly self-serving, a way to get publicity by getting politicians to stump for what True.com was already doing.  It does seem that if some of the danger in online dating can be caught in a screening, then why not? 

The negatives have been the costs, whether the screenings would be comprehensive and meaningful, and whether the customers on dating sites would get a false reassurance of safety and relax their due diligence in screening date partners.

Do not let any claims of safety—anywhere—give you a false sense of security.  See what Match.com says in its own “Terms of Use Agreement”:

7. Your Interactions with Other Members. You are solely responsible for your interactions with other Members. You understand that Match.com does not in any way screen its Members, nor does Match.com inquire into the backgrounds of its Members or attempt to verify the statements of its Members. Match.com makes no representations or warranties as to the conduct of Members or their compatibility with any current or future Members. In no event shall Match.com be liable for any damages whatsoever, whether direct, indirect, general, special, compensatory, consequential, and/or incidental, arising out of or relating to the conduct of you or anyone else in connection with the use of the Service, including without limitation, bodily injury, emotional distress, and/or any other damages resulting from communications or meetings with other registered users of this Service or persons you meet through this Service. You agree to take reasonable precautions in all interactions with other Members of the Service, particularly if you decide to meet offline or in person. In addition, you agree to review Match.com’s Dating Safety Tips prior to using the Service. You understand that Match.com makes no guarantees, either express or implied, regarding your ultimate compatibility with individuals you meet through the Service. You should not provide your financial information (for example, your credit card or bank account information) to other Members.

So proceed with caution, on Match.com or any other site.  You are responsible for your own safety.


The pet problem, cats particularly

A recent New Yorker had a cartoon that struck me so true to life that I sent it to several of my pet owning clients.  It had a couple standing on the front steps of a house, while two huge cat-like eyes stared out the picture window through shredded drapes.  Dramatic gouges (4) on the front of the house and a huge ball of yarn in the yard.  The caption: “Before we take this up a notch, I need to know where you are with cats.”

I have had several clients lately who have had budding relationships crumble because of cat allergies in their dates.  Two were multiple cat owners, and both dates were forewarned of the cat ownership.  So why did they allergic ones proceed?  Perhaps the blindness of lust, a shred of hope, who knows?

It is a dilemma.  Pet ownership is on a long rise, and multiple pets are not unusual.  Pets precede the new partner, so it seems to me that it is up to the newcomer to adjust, or at least to screen for objectionable pets and not get involved with an owner of potentially noxious animals.  I know that I would think more than twice about someone with a large dog or dogs.  Luckily I ran into another cat lover. 

I do think that singles should carefully consider the effect of pets on future partners.  More than two is really stretching the good humor of a new party.  One of my friends has a horse, two cats, two birds, a rabbit, and now a new dog.  She is not in a relationship.  Another has four cats and two dogs.  This woman is in a new relationship, but the pets are understandably problematic.  And not terribly well behaved.


What to do when a really interested prospect scares the beejesus out of you

Hey Kathryn—I have had some stuff going on….... A few weeks ago, after a particularly large drought, I took down my match profile for about a week. When I put it back up, all I did was change my profile pic and modify my story about myself. Next thing I knew I had so many emails it was like I was new on there again! So I got some dates out of that, but nothing really worked out. I have found that I have a bit of a problem when I start dating someone. If the guy seems really interested and starts frequently contacting me, I completely freak out! I can go from being really excited, to being absolutely terrified in the matter of days. Obviously I want to date someone who likes me, but I’m not sure if they are just too ready to get serious, or if I’m too scared too??  Carolyn

Hi Carolyn— Oooh.  Now that is a problem!  Good for you for figuring out that you get scared.  It’s like “Be careful what you wish for, because you might get it,” right?

Looking for love can be quite attractive and enticing while in the fantasy stage.  It can also be extremely anxiety provoking.  People often set up conditions that are so unlikely to be fulfilled that they are protected from the fear.  But when you actually get some real interest from a guy and he energetically pursues you, then YIKES!  Now you have to deal with all the issues of allowing intimacy, both emotional and sexual.  Staying single can then feel more appealing.

A very good book for explaining relationship stages is “A Fine Romance” by Judith Sills.  She explains that any move towards more intimacy is likely to scare one or both of the potential couple, how that plays out in feelings and behavior, and how to handle the “crisis.”  I highly recommend it to all my clients.  I hear back how reassuring it is, often comparing it to the Bible.  Quite a statement.

Anyway, let’s stick with what you know: You get scared when a potential partner shows strong interest. What do you think you are afraid of?  It may be hard to pin down.  You may find yourself being critical of them, rather than focusing on you.  But just mull it over: what are you afraid of?  Let the question float at the back of your mind and see what comes up.  Once you have figured out likely culprits, then we will have an idea of what to do next.

Keep me posted!  Best, Kathryn


SAQ #5 Should I get help writing my profile essay??


Your profile package: photos, essay, and all those questions you answer, becomes your 24/7 billboard advertizing you and what you are looking for.  Think about it: Would any business wanting to market a product (let’s say McDonald’s and Big Macs) would post on a billboard a first or second draft description, along with a picture taken with a cell phone camera into the bathroom mirror?  If they did, McDonald’s would never be able to say they had sold billions and billions.

Not only is your profile package your advertisement to the world, but also it is the beginning of a conversation with your potential mate for life.  You want to present your best self, while telling the absolute truth, and engage the reader so that he or she will email you back.  This is not an easy task.

Also, many people have a hard time writing about themselves.  As well, they may not have a realistic or even positive view of how they come across. 

I very seldom see a profile package that needs no improvement.  Why take the risk with what may be the most important document you will ever write?  Get help.  It will be worth every penny.

PS I’ve love to help you with your profile.  Go here to find out how—check out Platinum Profile Workup and Rehab.


Target rich environments for women and men: Meetup

I’ve talked about Meetup.com before, but have you checked it out yet? Tallahassee, a medium-small city, has 67 Meetup groups listed, with four that bear looking into, specifically listed for singles. See here:

Tallahassee Chapter - American Singles Golf Association-ASGA (16 members), member of American Singles Golf Association
Tallahassee Singles Mingle Meetup Group (182 members)
Mature Singles (3 members, bad name)
LGBT Singles (36 members)

There are also groups for movie lovers, belly dancers (hey, guys, would that be target rich or what?), bee keepers (85 members, and I’ll be most are guys), nerds and geeks (58 members, guys again), backyard poultry (86 members - guys or ladies? What do you think?), sushi and beyond dinner group, tango (guys, women LOVE tango!), a group that gets together to fix up cars (guess what gender?), and knitters (did you know that Rosie Greer the football player knits?)


SAQ #4. What photo should I use?

This question probably should be “Which photo SHOULDN’T I use?” Most folks should dump what they are using or are tempted to use and start over.

Just about every profile that I am asked to review could use better photos. Especially the guys. Let’s start with a list of “do’s”:

1. Strongly consider getting professional photos. I recommend LookBetterOnline.com. Everyone who has taken my advice and used LookBetterOnline has been delighted with the results, and the emails they get confirm the choice.
2. If you skip the professional route, get a friend to take lots of digital photos of you.  Outside is good, natural light and a pretty background. Inside shots can look dreary. Make sure the background is not distracting.
3. Less is more. Use one head shot, one full length, and perhaps one or two of you doing something interesting. One client had the LookBetterOnline photographer shoot him on his racing bicycle. Another was wading in the surf.
4. Dress simply and well. No prints or plaids, solid colors that look good on you. Pick an outfit that you would wear on an informal date, like nice pants and a sports jacket for men, a dress or skirt for women that shows a little leg—but not too much.
5. Cover up, for the most part. No bare chests, guys. Ladies, too. Save the skin for later. Keep your presentations clean.
6. Exhibit good grooming. Fresh haircuts and updates styles. If you have facial hair: guys, trim and tidy, consider shaving it off and automatically lose a few years; ladies, bleach, pluck, wax, or zap.
7. One or two photos with your pet is okay.  More than two pets gets weird.
8. Smile. A lot.


1. Do not use pictures with other people in them. You don’t want the viewer to not know which one is you, or to think that your friends are better looking than you are.
2. Do not use photos where you obviously cut out someone else, particularly that someone with their arm around you and clearly the opposite sex.
3. Do not use photos of your children or you with your children.
4. Do not use web cam photos or photos using your bathroom mirror. Who wants to see your toilet, seat up or down?
5. Lose the hats, caps, sunglasses, and muscle shirts. Folks want to see your eyes and whether you have hair – on your heat, not your chest or armpits.
6. Guys: women really don’t care about how big your motorcycle is, or what kind of car you have. Well, that might not be strictly true, but you risk turning good women off. Let them be impressed later.



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